LGBT Friendly- How Does Your State Rank?

This map is a snapshot into the lives of LGBT in America. How does your state rank? Read on to see who ranks the top 3 best and top 3 worst LGBT friendly states, and why.

courtesy of Refinery29

In 2010, Vice President Joe Biden made headlines when he said that transgender discrimination is "the civil rights issue of our time". A lot has been done to bring the voices and experiences of  LGBT people to light and we have made incredible progress in securing rights for our LGBT citizens, but there is still a disturbing amount of work to be done. According to a report from the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the transgender community has higher rates of unemployment, is more likely to live in poverty, have significant housing instability and 97% of the community has reported harassment or mistreatment at work.  LGBT citizens in this country suffer a systematic denial of basic human rights. 


#1 BEST: CALIFORNIA- California is the number 1 most trans friendly state in the country. The state acknowledges the egregious employment inequality that trans people face. Initiatives such as the Transgender Economic Empowerment Initiative (TEEI), which is based in San Francisco, offers trans people job training, career fairs, mentoring workshops, and much more. Healthcare is often an issue for trans people, but being that California is protected by statewide non-discrimination laws, the trans population has access to healthcare.  The state also has quite a few trans friendly communities, including San Francisco and Los Angeles, which are home to some of the safest and most accommodating enclaves of gender-nonconforming people in the country. In assassin, public schools are required to teach about the history of the LGBT community and transgender students are allowed to choose the appropriate restroom or sports team of which gender they identify with. 

Vermont is not of the most welcoming of transgendered and gender-nonconforming citizens. Vermont was among the first states to pass a comprehensive statewide law prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination in 1992. There are state-wide laws banning trans discrimination in schools, housing, and public spaces. The state is incredibly welcoming when it comes to education as well. For example, the University of Vermont recently added gender-neutral options to its record-keeping software.

Trans citizens are supported by the state of Washington both legally and through non-profit organization such as the Center For Gender Sanity, whose aim is to help people come out and transition in the workplace while also helping HR departments and management support their trans employees. The trans citizens of Washington are legally protected under its housing, education and anti-bullying laws. The state's anti-discrimination law, known as the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD), clearly prohibits discrimination because of "gender expression or identity." There is now a state law under WLAD that specifically protects against discrimination in employment and places of public accommodation, including public schools, based on one's gender expression or identity. 


Wyoming has no laws to protect its transgendered citizens- with no anti-discrimination laws at work, anti-bullying laws in school, and no hate-crime legislation. The liberal town of Jackson Hole has become an oasis and safer place for the transgendered community, having recently added LGBT discrimination protections to its employment policy.

Alabama's sex education program mandates that "classes must emphasize, in a factual manner and from a public health perspective, that homosexuality is not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public and that homosexual conduct is a criminal offense under the laws of the state." The state also has laws that "expressly forbid teachers from discussing gay and transgender issues," according to GLSEN. Mississippi has a higher rate of income equality which is of particular concern to LGBT citizens who already face a higher risk of poverty. To top it off, only 32% of the population are in favor of marriage equality (only 2 points behind Mississippi)

The state as a while scores a 9.8 out of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index. The index looks at such factors as employment non-discrimination, transgender inclusive health benefits, and anti-bullying efforts in schools. One of their cities, Southaven, scores a scary 0 out of 100. In April 2014. In April, Mississippi passed a "religious freedom law" that would allow businesses to deny service to LGBT couples. With only 34% of the Mississippi population believing in the freedom to marry, the state will likely be the last in the country to pass marriage equality. 

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